Non-Lethal Equipment ID
THE Pentagon’s efforts to develop a beam weapon that can deter an adversary by causing a burning sensation on their skin has taken a step forward with the development of a small, potentially hand-held, version. The weapon, which is claimed to cause no permanent harm, could also end up being used by police to control civilians.
The idea of the weapon is to “create a heating sensation that repels individual adversaries”, according to the Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate (JNLWD) in Quantico, Virginia, which develops less-lethal weapons for the US military and coastguard.
Tests with a rifle-mounted infrared laser, carried out at a US air force lab near Dayton, Ohio, have determined a combination of laser pulse power and wavelength that causes an alarming, hot sensation on the skin, but which stops short of causing a burn, says JNLWD project engineer Wesley Burgei.
“We have established the minimum irradiance to cause a sensation and have characterised where thermal injury begins,” he says. “But the exact operating irradiance which balances a useful military effect with a conservative margin of safety has not been nailed down yet.”
That’s something that will have to be done before the weapon is deployed, as too powerful a laser beam could permanently blind someone if fired at their eyes. Weapons that do this are banned under the UN Protocol on Blinding Laser Weapons.
Burgei says it is possible to create a beam that will affect the skin without damaging the cornea, and do so at a wavelength that does not penetrate to the retina “and would therefore be retina safe”.
Pentagon researchers say they can create a beam that will affect skin without damaging the cornea
The JNLWD says that tests at the Air Force Research Laboratory’s human effectiveness lab have established that the skin heating effect causes no permanent damage – suggesting it may have “military utility”. The tests also highlighted areas in need of improvement before troops can use it, says lab manager Semih Kumru – though what those features are has not been revealed.
The proposed system is rifle mounted, with a sight above it and a visible low-power laser beam that the soldier uses to aim the invisible infrared laser. The solid-state laser system is battery-powered, and could become hand-held “in the near future”, Burgei says.
The weapon, which has been evolving since 2005, is officially known at the Pentagon as the Thermal Laser System. The US National Institute of Justice, which is also funding the weapon’s development in the hope that it may prove useful for the police, refers to it as the IR-Lesslethal device.
The Pentagon already has a large crowd control weapon called the Active Denial System that can heat whole groups of people, causing them to flee. It uses a flat-plate antenna mounted on a truck or aircraft to aim a 2-metre-wide microwave beam at the crowd.
Like all supposedly non-lethal weapons that could be used to control civilians, the Pentagon’s new portable weapon is raising concerns. “I’d like to know why they want another advanced pain compliance weapon like this,” says Steve Wright, non-lethal weapons analyst at Leeds Metropolitan University in the UK. “Persuading by pain rather than brain – through conversation – has led to push-button torture in the past. If it leaves no mark on the skin how will anyone prove it’s been abused?”
Free People – Having been hit with one of microwave weapons from a helicopter over my apartment, I can attest that it will be a major deterrence in the favor of the police. However, we will advise you of ways this device’s effects might be mitigated. Remember, no fear is still the best deterrence of all evil. Pray for our Police who are being brainwashed to use such things against us.
Boeing announced yesterday that the Advanced Tactical Laser (ATL) — a C-130H cargo aircraft tricked out with a chemical laser — had successfully engaged a “tactically representative target,” i.e., a vehicle parked on the ground.
It’s a step toward a new capability: A directed-energy gunship that can destroy or disable ground targets with little or no collateral damage. Current ground-attack aircraft like the AC-130 gunship do the job with area-effect weapons like 20mm Gatling guns and 105mm howitzers.
The recent ATL test took place over White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico. During the test, the aircraft’s beam control system locked on to the target – a stationary vehicle – and guided the laser beam to the target. According to a news release, the laser beam “defeated the vehicle” — although what “defeat,” exactly, means, we don’t know. I’m waiting for more details.
If everything went as described, it certainly marks a milestone in laser history. But as Noah pointed out last year, a practical model is still years away: The ATL relies on vats of toxic chemicals to power its laser, so the military eventually wants to switch over to electric lasers to make a more deployable version of the flying ray gun.
Free People – If you believe our military and peace officers should keep their Oath to defend the Constitution, then how far are you willing to take that concept for your own activities? Do you believe that when the federal government has deviated from the Constitution that we civilians should no longer support the war machine of the same government?
For instance, see the article below regarding Boeing’s new laser weapon. Do you see any ethical conflict for your working for Boeing is they are pursuing weapons that might inhibit our freedoms to such a degree? Sure, Boeing alone can’ t do it. For that weapon to work, there has to be some uniform-wearing type to deploy it. But what about taking a stand about a company very willing to take government dollars while offering equipment that is easily misused by a government that is overreaching in its authority? Would you be willing to leave their employ? At what point could you “not obey” certain orders that they gave you?
Can we expect more from our military and peace officers than we ourselves are willing to sacrifice for our own liberties and freedoms? Can a government of the people exist when the people themselves are supporting a government who is ignoring the Constitution? Just something to think about now before some one of us helps them complete this final laser.
Other Military Inventions to Keep You Up at Night:
Called the Banshee II, the weapon emits a piercing 144-decibel sound that is designed to be more than just annoying. “It also has a frequency-switching system that pumps your ear drums, so it sounds like there’s a drum beating there,” the inventor tells Knoxnews.com. “You physically feel it in your ear drum.”
The Banshee is the brainchild of Fariborz Bzorgi, a government engineer described by Popular Science in a profile several years ago as the Department of Energy’s “Gadget Guru” because of his prolific record of inventions. Bzorgi works at the Y-12 nuclear plant in Tennessee.
The first iteration of the Banshee — an adjustable acoustic hand grenade — was designed to blast the Taliban and Al Qaeda out of caves in Afghanistan. That idea never quite caught on with the military, but Bzorgi hopes the Banshee II could have broader applications for law enforcement, including an alternative to the Taser, Knoxnews.com reports.
One of its selling points is that it is designed to be low cost — Banshee II is made from little more than off-the-shelf hardware, amplifiers and a 9-volt DC battery.
ACTIVE DENIAL SYSTEM
In 2002, the ADS was designated an Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration, a formal Department of Defense process to rapidly move mature technologies into the hands of the warfighter for military evaluation. During the ACTD, ADS was integrated and packaged into a mobile configuration. The platform chosen for ADS System 1 was the High Mobility Multi-purpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV).
The final phase of the ACTD, the Extended User Evaluation (EUE), concluded in September 2007. The EUE resulted in improvements in procedures and training of System 1. A more militarized version of ADS, known as System 2, was also developed under the ACTD. System 2 is the containerized version of the ADS that is transportable via a tactical vehicle.
Beginning in fiscal year 2008, under the Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate sponsorship, the Air Force Air Armament Center, Eglin Air force Base, Fla., is leading a joint effort to bridge the transition from an ACTD to the establishment of a formal program of record.
CURRENT NON-LETHAL CAPABILITIES
A number of Non-Lethal Weapons (NLWs) are currently being fielded. NLWs give our men and women in uniform alternatives between “shouting and shooting” while reducing the risk of fatalities and permanent injury to noncombatants, and are quickly becoming extremely valuable to the troops involved in Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), and the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT). Non-lethal capabilities are available for use in a variety of conflict scenarios, from humanitarian and peace operations to major combat operations. Service-unique non-lethal capability sets (NLCS) support platoon-company size units and contain a mix of counter-personnel (CP) and counter-materiel (CM) systems, protective equipment, enhancement devices, and training devices. Some of the NLCS CP items include 12 gauge, 40mm, and 66mm non-lethal munitions or grenades and CM devices, including tire spikes (caltrops) and the portable vehicle-arresting barrier (PVAB), both of which are used to deny vehicles access to critical infrastructure at roadblocks and entry control points (ECPs). Currently, there are initiatives to develop and package mission-specific sets. The available systems range from pre-emplaced munitions to vehicle arresting devices, and they are giving warfighters an important array of options in situations where traditional weapons are not the best solution. NLWs are multi-capable, with the ability to strike a single target or multiple targets.
NOTE: Portable Vehicle Barriers allow them to circle in a very short amount of time any city, sports arena, church or other location they want to place under seige.
|AHD Acoustic Hailing Devices (AHD) are non-lethal, non-kinetic, long-range hailing and warning devices. The devices use advanced directed acoustic energy technology to provide a non-lethal warning capability at a greater range than many other non-lethal systems available to U.S. forces.
|IFBG The Improved Flash Bang Grenade (IFBG) is an FY07 development program that aims to improve the effectiveness and safety of currently fielded non-lethal flash bang munitions by eliminating perchlorates in their formulation.
|VLAD The Vehicle Lightweight Arresting Device (VLAD) is a pre-emplaced net, that is man-portable and equipped with a unique barbed spike system that stops cars and trucks traveling at high rates of speed.
|JNLWM Joint Non-Lethal Warning Munitions (JNLWM) are non-lethal small arms cartridges capable of projecting clear, unambiguous warning signals out to distances of 100 meters, 200 meters, and 300 meters.
|ISNLS The Individual Serviceman Non-Lethal System (ISNLS) is an evolving non-lethal weapon concept currently supported by the commercial-off-the-shelf FN303 Less Lethal Launcher.
|ANLM< The Airburst Non-Lethal Munition (ANLM) is a US Army-led program. The ANLM is designed to enable a precision airburst delivery of non-lethal munitions.
|MK19 The MK19 Non-Lethal Munition (MK19 NLM) is being developed to provide the warfighter with an area denial, counter-personnel capability. The MK19 NLM fires blunt trauma projectiles in rapid-fire mode.
|JIP The Joint Integration Program (JIP) provides a Joint Service approach to the research, development, testing, and evaluation necessary for the optimization of the Services’ Non-Lethal Capability Sets (NLCS).
|MPM-NLWS The Mission Payload Module-Non-Lethal Weapons System (MPM-NLWS) will provide the joint warfighting community a capability that delivers non-lethal counter-personnel effects to control crowds and More|